Thursday, 5 July 2012

Glossy Magazines

Sensationalising Eating Disorders

I wrote on this subject during the May Bloggers challenge entitled 'Reality Check,'. I have chosen to go back to this today after being shown a link to a webpage for a company who sells stories to womens' magazines. I have come across this company before when I was asked to contribute towards spreading awareness during eating disorders week.  They were very keen to take on my story until I refused any before or after photographs.  This of course wasn't sensational enough, they wanted the 'Oh my god,' factor to sell magazines and ultimately make money on the back of 'doing something positive.'
I have no issue with people selling their stories, only good can come out of education on how horrific and damaging an eating disorder can be to a sufferer and their families/carers.  This is what we do within pro recovery communities, give hope to others. I do not think posting photographs of severely thin ill people achieves anything positive or gives a message of hope, and these  photos were posted alongside the story.
Their mission statement states, they value themselves on honesty and integrity. Yes they were honest enough, but integrity? I don't think so.  I questioned their integrity today, and asked if they were aware of the impact of posting these type of photos had on sufferers. They said they would be discussing both sides of the story next week!  I will be interested to say their discussion.

1 comment:

  1. I think the before and after shots hurt the message. It, often unintentionally, creates a benchmark that says "you need to be *this sick* to be deemed suffering".

    I don't have any full-body before/after shots. I have to pictures from my treatment. I have a few pics of my face from my sister's party.

    Sure, these pictures shock those outside the ED. But, is that visual shock really what's going to help people dealing with an ED. I suffered from Bulimia so I didn't *look* like what society pictures. I looked like shit still and I looked ill but not traditionally eating disordered.

    I am not ashamed to say I've had an ED but I don't want images of me at my most unwell to be what people associate with my name. I don't want someone to say 'Oh, Keira's getting married" and the response be "Keira, was that the one with the sunken face and had that weird yellow tinge to her eyes"

    ...and, as always I'm ranting on your blog ;)


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